Pride and Ego Up interrogation techniques

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Pride and Ego Up interrogation techniques are noncoercive interrogation techniques build the interrogator's position by rebuilding the self-respect of a prisoner who feels defeated. They differ from Reduced Fear methods in that they actively build self-image rather than simply diminish fear. Both classes are intended to build rapport with the interrogator.

In U.S. doctrine, the interrogator, without losing control, flatters the subject; the assumption is that he has always wanted recognition. On receiving recognition, he may provide useful information in order to get even more positive reinforcement. Interrogators are taught to judge the success of the approach by nonverbal cues, such as "a raising of the head, a look of pride in the eyes, a swelling of the chest, or a stiffening of the back." The classic target is a prisoner who is not used to respect, such as a low-ranking individual in a status-conscious organization; [1]

While the concept would not appear useful for a committed member of a self-motivated group, Mackey suggests that the interrogator may tie into universal feelings, such as recognition of both a fight well fought and being "devastated" by capture. [2] As always, cultural awareness is important. If the captive comes from a warrior tradition, there may be customs or symbols of shared martial tradition that transcend ideology.


  1. , Appendix H: Approaches, Field Manual (FM) 34-52: Intelligence Interrogation, U.S. Army, 8 May 1987
  2. Chris Mackey & Greg Miller (2004), The Interrogators: inside the secret war against al Qaeda, Little, Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-87112-5, p. 481